Author
Abstract

A commercial, transportable proton-exchange-membrane fuel-cell (PEMFC) system rated at 7 kW nominal power was the subject of an operational (reliability, availability, and maintainability) and process-safety analysis. The scope of the analysis included the system start-up to engine-run mode, the maintenance tasks, as well as the continuous power-production mode, carried out with a hazard and operability (HAZOP) study and a failure-scenarios' development. The failure and process-safety risks were categorized and the probabilities were assessed with a fault-tree analysis (FTA) using equipment-failure-rate data from the literature, if available. The results led to similar conclusions to those previously reported in similar studies, and the most important equipment/devices with respect to reliability and safety aspects were identified. While the most important uncertainty in the complete analysis comes from the generic equipment failure-rate data used, about three failures in the first year of operation are estimated together with an availability of about 98% (a point value figures, confidence interval analysis was also made). The process-safety analysis revealed four potential accident scenarios involving hydrogen releases, fires and explosions. Finally, detailed suggestions and recommendations for changes/improvements with respect to the reliability/availability, maintainability and safety aspects of the system analysed are presented. (C) 2008 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Year of Publication
2008
Journal
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume
33
Number of Pages
4147-4160
ISBN Number
0360-3199
Accession Number
WOS:000259848100017
DOI
10.1016/j.ijhydene.2008.04.063
Alternate Journal
Int J Hydrogen Energ
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